This certificate of release was handed over to Oskar by the camp chief. Its notes reveal that Oskar had been a good worker and that he had therefore been released a few months ahead of schedule. There is a photo of Oskar with a stamp on the back of the certificate. The text on the certificate reads: Certificate issued to Oskar Tojzner, born 1923, Dąbrowica. | Nationality: Jew, Soviet citizen. | Sentenced by Special Camp Court. To be placed in Work and Correctional Camp BP. | MVD [Ministry of the Interior] CCCP, 23 August 1950, accused according to paragraph 19-84. | Sentenced to 3 years. No previous convictions. | Released 8 March 1952. | Wishes to return to Rovno [alternative spellings: Równe, Rivne, ed.]
I was there.
After the end of war Oskar married Nina and settled down in Sarny. They had a daughter called Sonia and Oskar set up a small business in town. Suddenly one day the NKVD (Soviet Secret Police) came to the office making accusations.
Oskar was taken to prison and then transported to the Gulag camps of Kolyma in northeastern Siberia. Three years later, in 1953, he was released.
In 1955 Oskar and Nina's son Michael was born. The family wanted to move to Poland but their application for permission to leave the Soviet Union was rejected.
Oskar and his family finally reached Poland in 1959. Ten years later, in 1969, antisemitism in Poland was on the rise again and Oskar and Nina decided to emigrate to Sweden.
Oskar Tojzner (1923-2019), Poland (current Ukraine)
In Prison with the Soviet Secret Police
Oskar talks about his arrest by the Soviet Secret Police, the NKVD.
1) Listen to Oskar as he talks about how he was arrested by the Soviet Secret Police, the NKVD, and his time in a Gulag. Answer the question.
In 1945, Oskar married Nina and they had a daughter. They had plans and dreams for the future but everything was suddenly shattered to pieces. Put yourself in Oskar’s place and everything that happened to him and his family.
1a. What was the reason that Oskar was arrested and send to prison? How did Oskar react to the accusations?
Three Years in a Camp in Siberia
Oskar talks about the time in the Gulag camp.
2) Listen to Oskar as he talks about his time in the Gulag camp. Answer the questions.
2a. Oskar was sent to a Gulag camp in Siberia. What happened that forced him to flee from there?
2b. After his release from the Gulag, it took another year before Oskar was able to return to his wife and daughter. Why?
To Poland and Onwards to Sweden
Oskar talks about the difficulties he experienced trying to leave the Soviet Union.
3) Listen to Oskar as he talks about the difficulties he experienced trying to leave the Soviet Union and his emigration to Sweden. Answer the questions.
3a. Oskar applied in 1955 for permission for his family to leave the Soviet Union but the application was rejected. How was the situation sorted out?
3b. Oskar built up a new life for himself and his family, planning for a future in Poland. What happened in Poland in 1968 that caused the family to apply for permission to emigrate?